To a kid, life is a series of obstacles to overcome. Mary Gutierrez has two boys.
“Eight and five,” says Mary Gutierrez, mom.
Who are always up to something.
“We do a lot of physical activities. Run, playgrounds, parks,” says Gutierrez.
Statistically speaking, they are at the prime age for an injury. According to the CDC, more than 156-thousand kids under age 14 are injured each year in parks and play grounds. Forty percent involve falls.
Children slip, lose their grip, and just lose their balance. They’ll often fall on an outstretched hand and break their elbow. It’s one of the most common injuries that require a trip to the operating room.
“There’s a number of different growth plates, and they interestingly enough appear at different ages,” says Dr. John Churchill, pediatric orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff of The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
The most problematic elbow fracture occurs through a growth area.
“It has the potential to disturb the growth of the bone. The bone usually will slow down or stop growing,” says Dr. Churchill.
A more common break is just above the elbow. It presents another set of issues.
“The big things that we worry about are nerve problems. Supracondylar fractures are notorious for pinching nerves. Most of the time the nerve fortunately in kids, recovers rapidly. Other times the artery, the blood flow to the arm can get pinched off,” says Dr. Churchill.
Elbow injuries should be treated promptly and properly.
“Most of these fractures we just reset the bone and put some small little pins in temporarily to hold it in place while it heals,” says Dr. Churchill.
A cast on their arm, kids should be back on their feet almost immediately. Because it’s hard to keep a young child down.